|Status: This is an official style guideline.|
When entering a new release into MusicBrainz, the titles should be normalized by following these guidelines.
This page provides a summary of the important guidelines, please follow the links to the full guidelines when you need more information.
Album and song titles are often found in upper‐case on the back cover of CDs. For example, the album Songs of Love and Hate is written as “SONGS OF LOVE AND HATE” on the cover. This is usually the choice of a graphic designer, not the artist. So, instead of copying the title from the cover, we follow certain rules to capitalize a title. The rules are different for each language.
Please see Style/Language for more information.
Abbreviations in titles (but not acronyms) should generally be expanded. Probably the most common abbreviations used in titles are “Vol.” and “Pt.”; these should always be expanded to “Volume” and “Part”. The main exceptions to this guideline are “feat.” for “featuring” and “vs.” for “versus”.
See Abbreviations for more information.
Extra title information
Additional information which is not part of the name of a song or album should be in parentheses. You often see this with alternate versions of tracks, or when an artist is featured on a track.
Use a colon (:) to separate any subtitles. If there is an alternative dividing punctuation mark such as the question mark (?) or exclamation point (!), use that mark instead of the colon.
- Biography: The Greatest Hits
- Who Cares a Lot? Greatest Hits (already has "?")
Multiple titles / Splits
When a release is a re-release of two or more other releases, a track includes two or more songs, or a split release has different titles for each artist, the title should be split as " Title 1 / Title 2" (space, slash, space). For otherwise unnamed split releases, use "Artist 1 / Artist 2" as the title.
The artist credit for tracks and recordings with multiple artists, and for split releases and release groups, should similarly be "Artist 1 / Artist 2".
- This Is the Modern World / All Mod Cons by The Jam (two releases in one)
- Outsider / 14:31 / 110 Mistakes by Burufunk / Global Communication / MOT (track with 3 songs)
- Faith / Void by Faith / Void (split release)
Volumes and parts
When a release or track is part of a series, separate the volume or part name from the title with a comma, like this: “The Red Weed, Part 1”.
If the title already ends with an alternative punctuation mark, such as a question mark (?) or an exclamation point (!), use that mark instead of the comma.
See Series numbers, Part numbers and Volume numbers.
If a release includes a designation such as EP/E.P., 7", CD, LP or single as part of its title, include it in the release title. If a format designation is not explicitly part of the title, it should not be added.
- Flatline EP (EP is on the title)
- Broken (EP is just the release group type)
Exceptions and corner cases
Sometimes it isn’t clear how these guidelines should be applied to a particular release, these cases may be discussed by the StyleCouncil. Decisions of the StyleCouncil concerning particular releases, series or corner cases should be followed. Currently there are two of these guidelines: